Claires first stalk

PSE Composites Limited
The following is a report by my Cousin "C", I'll call her CC. from now on for ease. As we both had a view of how things went, I will jump from me to her now and again, hopefuly to paint a bigger picture of what was going on:-

Just to give some sort of beginning to the following report some details, I belong to a group of game shooting girls called The Dorset Game Birds, each year we have an anniversary meeting and clay shoot, picnic etc, but last year it was decided we would organize rifle shooting for the girls to try. I was hooked but, things prevented me from doing anymore until this years meeting when we shot rifles again, this time I was determined to learn more or even go stalking with someone.
Luckily for me my dearest OLDER cousin is a keen rifle shot and very kindly put me in touch with a friend of his who was happy to take me out (stalking that is).

That’s how I found myself just outside Amesbury on a beautiful sunny Saturday this August. The boys set up a target for me and must have been happy with my .22 shooting because for the next target they let me use the 6.5 x 55 and that went well too, much easier once I worked out my breathing (it’s ok I’m blonde so breathing takes some thinking).

CC, used my .22 rf and put a quite respectable group on the target, despite windy conditions. We loaded a couple of rounds into the 6.5 x 55 estate rifle that if all went well CC would be using later on that evening. I wanted to check my rifles zero so I went first. First bullet in the bull, second one I pulled two inches left. Third was somewhere in between. Next CC shot,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, :rolleyes:
two touching holes in the bull! (Never take a woman stalking, they are just SO competative!). Very happy with CCs shooting skills we waited for the appointed hour to set forth.

Happy with my target shooting we then had to wait ‘till evening to venture out, dearest cousin was stalking as well as another guy, they were dropped off and left to stalk alone. Peter, who was given the task of trying to find me an animal, accompanied me. I had no expectations of the evening and having walked along the top hedge of the 1st field we saw a number of fallow across the small valley (near where we had left the dearest cousin but they were moving not settled at all).

Debussed and walked up the side of a fairly steep field with a wood running along the top edge. On reaching the edge of the wood I spied three fallow already out in the field about 300yds ahead of me. I slowly made my way along, and saw them joined by a huge buck. As I drew nearer the enormity of his head started to dawn on me. I had carte blanche on fallow, and I must confess I was wondering where I was going to hang this huge trophy. As if the buck could read my thoughts the group now some nine or ten beasts ambled over a rise and out of sight. The wind was good for me so I made haste towards the ridge. About eighty yards to go I caught sight of movement 400yds to my left. The bu^$%gers had given me the slip and were now down where I had started out from, heading towards where I thought CC might have been.

We saw a roebuck & doe ahead but they moved before we had a chance to get too close.
We got to the next hedge and made our way slowly down towards the road at the bottom only to see the fallow from the far side moving off in a hurry back up the other side of the valley and into the woods.
The light by now was fading fast but we turned and followed the track uphill and just spotted a doe as we came the end of the hedge line, she stood still but had seen us and looked set to run for the hills any second, just behind her and looking somewhat more settled was a buck.
Peter crept forward slowly beckoning me to do the same, I felt awkward trying to creep low & slow with a rifle, keeping an eye on Peter and the buck, but all went ok and though the buck was looking our way he stayed put. Peter lay down across the path and signalled me to crawl along till I was level with him. I settled myself and got the buck in the scope. Every thing seemed to be really slow, I was sure he would be off before I could get ready, but I got him in the scope, got the cross hairs up the front leg, about a third up the body, found the safety, took a few steady breaths and squeezed the trigger, remembering my instructions I kept looking through the scope and saw him drop instantly.
Having been pheasant shooting for a couple of years I was surprised how different I felt on seeing this buck on the ground, I’m not girly about these things but I did think he was a beautiful animal and I had been lucky and privileged to have had this experience
Many thanks to Terry, Peter and of course Dearest Cousin Mark


Chris Rob

Well-Known Member
Well done Claire what a great experience you had & a good write up too. Nice to hear the chaps helped you out so much & were not put out too much by your excellent marksmanship. :oops: :D



Site Staff
So nice to hear of ladies taking up the sport and enjoying the experience of stalking. Congratulations, dare one ask when you are going out again?

Well done to Buckup for introducing the young lady to the world of stalking, magic :D


New Member
Hi Guys, Thanks for the warm welcome, I plan to get out again as soon as possible. Hopefully it will become a regular event, but with the pheasant season looming & 3 picking up dogs deperate to get back to work I'll have to juggle the diary CC


Well-Known Member
What a great read, and i also echo what Malcom has said, it`s great to hear of ladies taking part. Well done to all involved. ;)



Well-Known Member
basil said:
Well done CC. That was a good read, i presume Buckup went home empty handed?
Absolutly right :cry: . I have to say much as I enjoy pulling the trigger, I get more joy from seeing new people entering the sport, and getting that buzz! :D I can shoot another deer another day.

On the matter of big trophy heads,(e.g. the one I was stalking that evening), I would be interested to hear from others on the forum. I have never shot a serious head, money and/or luck have never come my way. I do also worry that at the tender age of 45, I might peak too early :lol: :lol:

What do you do once you've shot your gold medal head, does the next cull buck seem an anti climax? I was lucky enogh to shoot some yearling wild boar this year, would a keiler make me any happier, I honestly don't know. Let me know your thoughts, preferably before I spend large wads of cash doing it ;) .


Well-Known Member

I've been fortunate enough to shoot a gold medal roe and a gold medal muntjac, both of the same estate. I hadn't gone out to specifically shoot either of them - they just walked out in front of me at the wrong time for them, the right time for me. They are nice to have on the wall, but I never forget that the fact that they are gold medals is a reflection on the animals themselves, not on me as the stalker.

For example, the stalk for the roe was singularly unimpressive. It was during the rut and on the way back to the car we saw a doe coming out from some woods. My friend and mentor who runs the stalking on that ground suggested that we stand there and see what happens. A minute later out walked the buck and turned broadside on. I was told to shoot him so I did, but I had little idea until we walked up that he had quite such a good head.

I've had far, far better stalks since then and far more memorable deer, some with nice antlers and some not so nice, but what interests me more is the management plan and seeing the deer themselves. Just a week or so ago I was out and saw a lovely 6 point buck with a doe. I had plenty of opportunities to shoot him and lined up the sights several times, but in the end decided not to.

Why didn't I shoot ? I've shot two mature beasts already this season and whilst another one might be in the cull plan, there are guests on the estate who would get far more enjoyment out of shooting a nice buck than I would. Also, it gave me a chance to see how steady my labrador was - fortunately she didn't bat an eyelid, even when the accompanying doe spotted us and came up to within 15 yards, not once, but twice. It's those memories that I will treasure, the shot and the trophy are incidentals.

To summarise - it's the deer and the stalking that I remember. The heads on the wall are just a way of jogging the memory sometimes when you're sitting down of an evening with a glass of something.



Site Staff

I think this is a personal view that people take differently. Some love to hunt medal heads and if they have the time, money to do it why not. You have to remember that by doing so they are putting money into the stalking industry and helping to keep it active and healthy. Of course people who take non medal heads, or only hinds contribute as well so I suppose I am saying there is a place for everyone.

Now that you have reached 45 well, don't worry. This year I attained the great age of three score, I am looking middle age right in the face :eek: I am making plans for getting old though, I can hardly walk so I am in training. I have never shot a medal head, had some nice representative ones, but for me a nice tasty hind or doe is the best trophy of them all, I have also developed the middle age spread (ahead of time)

The thing is you could very easily find yourself on a medal head and it could be the simplest animal you have ever taken. On the other hand the very next cull buck could be a tricky little bugger that leads you a merry dance, test your stalking and shooting skills to their maximum, and then provides several hours of carcase recovery that leaves you totally cream crackered. Which will you remember most?

I would like to think that it would be the testing little bugger, remember you are a stalker, easy or difficult, medal head or cull makes no difference, when you no longer enjoy it, well stamp collecting beckons :D :D

BRACES of Bristol - Dark Fox Package, Mauser M12, LIEMKE Thermal Scope, Wildcat Mod